Pradhan seeks support for storm-hit Odisha farmers

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday wrote a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh seeking central assistance for the farmers affected by the untimely Nor’wester (Kalabaisakhi) in Odisha.

Pradhan mentioned that the untimely spell of rains and hailstorm which hit many parts of the state over the past few days has caused widespread loss of crops and life in many districts.

Though the crop loss assessment hasn’t been done yet, Pradhan stated that standing crops spread across thousands of acres have been damaged in six districts including Bargarh, Jajpur, Sonepur, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj and Balasore.

Urging the agriculture Minister to take urgent measures, Pradhan, in the letter, sought his personal indulgence to facilitate assessment of the situation and active intervention to ensure that the farmers get the required support to overcome the situation.

“Some pockets in these districts are already in the bottom of the poverty pyramid and the natural disaster shall further add to the woes of farmers barely living on subsistence income,” he added.

Pradhan said that the situation of distress has already forced farmers to take drastic steps and two farmers have attempted suicide. “There is, thus an imperative, to ameliorate situation and assuage the distress of the farmers through urgent remedial measures,” he added.